Mobile computing and Pervasive and ubiquitous computing – action plan

Headline objective for the action plan

Communications on the new research area, Pervasive and ubiquitous computing (PUC), and evidence gathering on its strategic direction and trajectory.

What is the issue / problem with the Research Area which you need to solve?

The strategy for maintaining a core of activity in PUC (within the “reduce” area of Mobile computing) is not being achieved.

As a result of an exceptions process a new research area was produced to represent research into PUC. In addition to creating the new area a number of other decisions were made as a part of the exceptions process. These were:

  • That the PUC research area would be marked as under review until enough information could be gathered to make an informed strategic decision on its trajectory.
  • That the Mobile Computing area (still visible on Visualising our Portfolio) would continue to have a rationale page, and would continue to be marked as reduce until the closing of the grants within it caused it to disappear (no further research would be coded to this area).

Once sufficient evidence exists to establish the likely future demand for PUC research and capacity within the research community to undertake it, the potential trajectory of the new PUC research area will be considered by EPSRC and relevant advice streams (the Information and communication (ICT) Strategic advisory team (SAT) and Digital economy (DE) Programme advisory board (PAB)).

There are thus two primary challenges:

  • Communication of the existence of the PUC research area to researchers who may be interested in the area or were interested in mobile computing with a view to encouraging them to apply to this new area.
  • Communication to the broader research community to explain how and why this has happened and why it was exceptional.

What actions are you going to take to address the issue / problem?

An internal briefing document has been made to assist portfolio managers in the communication of the reasons for the creation of PUC and what will happen to this research area and Mobile Computing. This will help assist in providing a consistent message to external bodies.

ICT theme will be engaging directly with its research and user communities as a part of day to day business to communicate the reasons for change but also to make people aware of the research area.

What evidence / advice will you use to input to the action plan?

The ICT SAT has been engaged at all stages relating to the evolution of these research areas, as they have with all of ICT shaping strategies. We will continue to seek advice and evidence from the ICT SAT and the DE Programme advisory board (PAB), where appropriate, in the form of communications they have from their peers, as we move towards the end of the delivery period. Furthermore, we will engage with key users of research in relevant sectors, these will include industrialists and other agencies.

Who will deliver each action / who needs to be involved in delivering the actions?

These actions will be delivered by the ICT theme and, where relevant the ICT SAT, DE PAB.

What are your milestones / review points?

Progress with communications and problems relating to the research area within the ICT community will be constantly monitored and progress will be discussed with the ICT SAT and DE PAB.

What does success look like / how will you know your actions have addressed the issue / problem?

  • The ICT and DE communities will be well informed on the changes to the portfolio and clear on the strategy that relates to them.
  • Applications in PUC start to increase.
  • Feedback suggests that user understanding about EPSRC’s support for PUC has improved.

What are your contingency plans if your actions are unsuccessful?

Potential activities that provide opportunities for wider dissemination of information (including email) and methods of directly capturing information like questionnaires could be considered if normal methods are not achieving our aim.